Whether it is the sight of a child playing at Virginia Acres Park or South Boundary’s trees that describe Aiken the best, the City of Aiken wants residents to submit their photos they believe truly represent Aiken.

“The ‘Our Aiken’ photo contest encourages anyone looking to share their photos of what Aiken means to them,” Emory Langston, special projects coordinator with the City of Aiken, said. “We’re very excited about this contest, and it’s still a community-oriented fundraiser for the United Way.”

The contest will replace the annual Labor Day BBQ Cook-Off, which was canceled due to a lack of registered grilling teams. The annual barbecue competition, usually held on Labor Day in downtown Aiken, was held to kick-off the United Way’s annual campaign from the end of August to the end of October.

The winning photographs will be used in marketing materials to promote the Aiken community, but also will be auctioned off to raise funds for the annual campaign. United Way works to not only improve education, but help those achieve financial stability and promote healthy living.

United Way raised almost $3 million during its 2013 fundraising campaign. The grand total was approximately $2,938,009, which exceeded its pre-campaign goal of $2,524,850.

Contest winners will be announced during auction night on Thursday, Oct. 23, in the Municipal Building’s conference center, located at 214 Park Ave.

The fee is $5 to enter a photograph.

The City will take photo submissions beginning Monday through Sept. 22.

Details about the photo contest are available at www.cityofaikensc.gov/photocontest.

For more information, call 803-642-7723.

Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter with Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @MaayanSchechter.